Historic 7-Acre Camelback Mountain Property Listed for $15.65M: Stunning Yet Costly

camelback mountain

Constructed in 1927 at the base of Camelback Mountain, this property at 4556 N. 56th St., Phoenix, is nestled amidst pristine desert beauty. 

When Jim and Connie Binns were searching for a home in metro Phoenix in 1990, Connie wanted a move-in ready home with no construction hassles. 

Her Realtor knew a fixer-upper wasn’t on their list but the couple suggested they consider a charming home built in 1928 on seven acres in the Arcadia area of Phoenix. 

“Everything I looked at felt like a hotel lobby to me, lacking the warmth and inviting like we were accustomed to,” said Connie. “We travel up the long dirt driveway, and I couldn’t help but to do my happy dance. It had me at that moment. I hadn’t even seen the house.” 

Despite its history, the property once owned by William Benton, former Senator from Connecticut and a publisher for Britannica Encyclopedia, was in a “decrepit state,” Connie recalled. 

“They owned it for 50 years, but it was only used as a winter home for them,” she said. 

The property also included a caretaker’s home and horse corral, said Jim. 

“They bought it from Mrs. Morton from Morton Salt,” Connie said. “We’re actually the third owners of the property.” 

The property remained under the Benton family ownership for several years and was rented out, but it was poorly maintained, Connie said. 

Renovating history, retaining the charm.

Despite not wanting to buy a house that needed a major construction overhaul, Connie was captivated by the property, and the couple embarked on a major renovation. 

They enlisted Scottsdale architect John Douglas, Greg Hunt of GM Hunt and Ten Eyck Landscape Architects to restore the property. 

“They preserved all the charm, yet it’s completely modernized for today’s lifestyle,” said listing agent Libby Cohen. 

“They restored the desert landscaping,” Cohen said. “It rivals the Botanical Gardens. It is incredible. There are curated gardens, natural cactus gardens, and stone paths. It’s truly magical.” 

Originally construct in 1927, the 4556 N. 56th St., Phoenix property is listed for $15.65 million. 

Image: Austine Baker

Surrounded by pristine desert in the middle of a bustling city, it’s like stepping back in time while enjoying comfort of a newly built home, Cohen said. 

The Arcadia area is one of the hottest locations in the Valley, Cohen said. 

“Lot values are extremely high,” she said. “People are buying all the old, original homes, demolishing them and constructing $10 million-plus residences. That whole area has become highly desirable. Paradise Valley is paradise, but this unique part of Arcadia is very sought after now.” 

J. Andrew Turley, president of Phoenix Valuations who appraises luxury homes, stated that the 85018 ZIP code, which borders Paradise Valley, is gaining popularity. There is certainly a shift in wealth occurring in the region, as the well-known Paradise Valley ZIP code 85253 is no longer the wealthiest enclave in the market. 

“This area is undoubtedly one of the most sought-out ZIP codes in the entire country,” Turley said.We are now seeing developers, investors, builders adopting a ‘California’ style approach, creating the largest possible homes with the most amazing levels of fenestration and latest design trends. It’s been truly unbelievable to witness the transformation of this area with the intense demand from buyers willing to pay top dollar to be in the ZIP code.” 

As Jim and Connie Binns reflect on their home and the cherished memories of raising their daughters there, they admit that they will miss it deeply. 

Managing the seven acres is a lot to handle,” said Jim, former medical device entrepreneur who sold his business to Squibb and General Electric. Time to downsize to something with a fewer responsibility.” 

What’s most special about the 7-acre property is that it captures the essence of country living while being situated in a desirable part of the city, he said. 

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